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On Demand movie highlights

THE NAME OF THE ROSE

(Comcast Free Movies) The subjects of Umberto Eco’s best-selling novel were 14th-century monasticism and the life of the mind. Neither makes it to the screen. Nor is much done with the Dark Ages Sherlock Holmes caper, starring Sean Connery. In trying to turn Eco’s dense, labyrinthine book into pictures, director Jean-Jacaues Annaud winds up with little more than a gallery of gargoyle monks. (R; runs through Dec. 31)

MIGHTY JOE YOUNG

(Showtime on Comcast) Solidly crafted, family-friendly remake of the 1949 film about a sensitive gorilla who suggests King Kong’s kid brother and is highly unhappy in so-called civilization. Charlize Theron is the primatologist who turns it into a beauty-and-the-beast story, and Bill Paxton is another plus in the role of the guy who wants to save them both. (PG; runs through Jan. 8)

THE PREACHER’S WIFE

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(Showtime on Comcast) Warmth outruns blandness in this holiday fable that genuflects to African-American sensibilities. Denzel Washington effortlessly projects star power as an angel sent to Earth to rescue a beleaguered congregation. So does Whitney Houston, as the preacher’s wife with whom the angel falls in love. But her charisma is mostly expressed in song, on a soundtrack full of rousing spirituals. (PG; runs through Jan. 8)

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